Antibiotic resistance represents a tremendous contemporary clinical challenge. Given this challenge, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are regarded as one of the most promising new options for next-generation lead antibiotics. Here, we describe the antibacterial activities of a cationic peptide named DRP-AC4, obtained from frog skin secretion using shotgun cloning. Two modified peptides were derived by substituting the sequence of amino acids to complete the hydrophobic face (DRP-AC4b) and increase net charge (DRP-AC4a), respectively. The activity and cytotoxicity of these two peptides were compared. DRP-AC4a displayed significantly increased potency against bacteria compared to the natural peptide. It should be noted, however, that both analogue peptides demonstrated higher lytic ability than the natural peptide against the membranes of mammalian erythrocytes. At the same time, all three peptides displayed lower hemolytic activity compared to their antibacterial activity. Here, we demonstrate that AMPs have more complex activity mechanisms and faster bactericidal rates than traditional antibiotics, which may be one of the reasons why bacteria do not develop resistance to them. These discoveries provide interesting insights into the discovery and development of novel drugs from natural sources.
- antimicrobial peptide; frog skin secretion; dermaseptin; low resistance drug